4 Easy Tips to Simplifying Your Message
Updated: Nov 3
There's nothing worse than the feeling of frustration that comes from trying to explain what you do to someone and have them COMPLETELY not get it.
We've all been there before...
It's the glaze-eyed look that someone gets when you start fumbling with your words and WAY over-explaining what you were trying to say.
It's a conversation that often ends in the other person going, "Oh... that's nice." with an awkward silence afterwards that leaves you questioning if you made a horrible mistake in starting this conversation in the first place.
Don't worry, there's a solution to all this!
"But what I do is REALLY complicated, is it still possible to simplify my message?"
Yes, it is!
Now I hear what you're thinking, you probably have a complex, multi-step offer that solves a dozen different problems... a bunch of different ways.
And you're worried that if you don't list out every single one of those things, people are going to miss the point and not understand what you do — hence the 15-minute explainer monologue that you find yourself launching into at every networking event.
Secretly, this is the trap that most business owners fall into.
We THINK that we need to share every little thing about our business, when in reality, our potential customers just want to know if we can help them with their ONE big problem.
In this case, simplicity is our friend — not our enemy. The goal is to HOOK your potential customer's attention, and get them curious to learn more... then you can invite them to have the rest of that conversation with you!
So let's dive into the 4 Easy Tips to Simplifying Your Message!!
Tip #1: Explain who you are (in the context of your engagement)
This might feel like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised by how many people miss this important step. In a business relationship, the "who factor" is super important because it helps a potential customer determine if they should or shouldn't be listening to what you have to say.
For example, I would be far more likely to take accounting advice from a certified accountant rather than random entrepreneur who claims to know the books.
Your potential customers want you to give them a reason to sit up and pay attention to what you have to say, and it really helps to let them know exactly HOW you're qualified to help them with their problem.
In this case, it always helps to share:
A title that your potential customer will understand
A few words about what makes you qualified to speak about your area of expertise
A few sentences about your personal background to help your potential customer know that you understand their problem
I'm a personal brand strategist with 3 years of experience helping business owners build brands that connect with their customers on a deeper level. After having built my own brand the "wrong way" for the first few years of my business as a solopreneur, I discovered the secret to building a brand that stands out, clearly communicates what I do, and builds instant rapport with new customers — and this is what I help my clients with today!
Depending on the following few tips that I'm going to share, you'll know how much or how little of WHO you are that you'll need to share in a conversation. Sometimes, you just need a clear title that the other person understands!
On the other hand, if you're doing public speaking... you'll definitely want to spend more time explaining who you are to your audience.
Tip #2: Understand who you're talking to
This is where it gets a bit messy, because sometimes we're not sure exactly who we're talking to. This is where it helps to get into conversations with more people to get a better feel of what KINDS of people are out there.
When I say "kinds" of people, I mean:
Who are they & what do they do?
What do they want?
What are they struggling with?
What do they need?
Knowing who you're talking to will help you simplify your message by 50%, simply because you'll know what the other party is interested in hearing from you.
For example, there's a huge difference in the way that I would speak to these 2 different groups of people:
New entrepreneurs who are in their first year of business and want a simple branding setup to get things up and off the ground as they test and refine their offer
Seasoned business owners who have been in business for a few years who are looking to invest in a more professional setup for their branding in preparation for scaling their business
The biggest mistake most business owners make is that they make assumptions about who they're speaking to, and they either start using technical language to explain something that only other experts in their industry will understand, OR they just share everything underneath the sun about their business and bore the hell out of whoever they're talking to because the things they're sharing aren't relevant to the person who's listening.
Tip #3: Understand the context of your relationship
There's nothing more upsetting than being pitched by someone you just met... simply because the rapport hasn't been built yet.
This is a personal pet peeve of mine because the CONTEXT is what makes or breaks any conversation. It's cool if someone offers you something after you mention that you're looking for support, but WHY in god's name would you try to sell / give someone something without first understanding what they're looking for?
This goes for both FREE and PAID stuff.
Understanding the kind of relationship you have with the person you're engaging with will help you avoid a lot of the rookie mistakes that most business owners (or human beings in general) make when communicating their message.
Here are some examples of different kinds of relationships you might want to be mindful of as you put your message out there:
You & your clients — they trust you and are bought into what you have to offer
You & your audience — they trust you but might not have said "yes" yet to your offer
You & other people's audiences / referrals — they know you as someone trusted from the outside who has been brought in to share your knowledge / expertise
You & someone new at a networking event — they don't know who you are or what you want
Tip #4: Get clear on what you're trying to say
This one sounds deceptively simple because it requires you to REALLY pare down on the number of words you use to communicate what you do. This is the part where most business owners will feel inclined to list out a bunch of things that their company does, when in reality, people just want them to get to the point and explain how all of that relates to them.
For example, I can tell people that I help entrepreneurs:
Clarify their brand identity and set up their brand messaging
Build a visual brand that stands out amongst their competitors
Define their brand strategy and help them apply their brand to their entire online brand presence
OR, I can bypass all that technical jargon by just telling them that:
I help entrepreneurs feel confident in the way they show up and present themselves online
BAM!! I know, it's really easy to worry that you're missing out on all the important bits of what you do, but trust me... getting to the point will actually help you open up the conversation, and the people who are interested will then ask, "that's cool, so how do you do that?"
And that's it!
When you combine all of these tips, you can easily simplify your message from:
"I'm a trauma-informed somatic healer that helps my clients connect with their inner child, heal their trauma, release their stuck energy and reconnect with their sense of joy through guided meditations, breathwork and reiki."
"I'm a spiritual healer that helps people let go of their past traumas and feel whole again."
Yes, it can actually be that easy!
It can feel weird in the beginning, but I encourage you to try these 4 tips as you get your message out there into the world! It takes a bit of practice, but I promise it gets easier over time.
If you tried this exercise and find yourself having a hard time, I'd be happy to offer you a FREE 30-minute brand consultation where we can have a conversation about where you're getting stuck, and help you get clear on the way you're communicating your message!
To get started, all you need to do is click the link above and answer a few basic questions about your business so I have some context of where you're at before we chat. Looking forward to connecting with you :)